Kolam Tribes


Why is it in News?

Kolam tribals of Adilabad district are in fear again of someone casting an evil eye on them after the death of three children of the group. Earlier, the superstitious nature of the tribe often has villagers shifting locations.

About Kolam Tribals:

  • Kolam are a designated Scheduled Tribe in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
  • They practice agriculture and have a patriarchal society.
  • Kolam tribals are listed as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) in the state of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Kolam tribals speak Kolami language.

Other Tribal Groups in News:

Toda Tribe:

  • Toda people are a Dravidian ethnic group who live in the Nilgiri Mountains of Tamil Nadu.
  • The life of Toda people is dependent upon the Shola forest of the Nilgiri region. They worship mainly the forces of nature like hills, mountains etc.
  • They live in small thatched houses which are called dogles/munds, primarily built with bamboo, grass and cane.
  • ‘Pukhoor’ is the hand embroidery craft of the Toda people that is mainly done by women. This embroidery of the tribe has been given the Geographical Indicator Tag.

Monpa Tribe:

  • The Monpa tribe is a major ethnic group of Arunachal Pradesh in northeastern India.
  • They are also one of the 56 officially recognized ethnic groups in China.
  • Monpa people are completely dependent upon the cattles/animals like sheep, yak etc. for their survival.
  • Their languages have usually been assumed to be a part of the Tibeto-Burman languages separate from the Tibetic cluster. They are written with the Tibetan alphabet.


Source: TH

Chenchu Tribes


Why is it in News?

Chenchus believe that domesticating Fox ushers an era of fortune to the tribe.

About Chenchus:

  • The Chenchus are a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG are categorized by Ministry of Home Affairs), living in dense jungles spread across the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha.
  • They are amongst the oldest aboriginals of South India.
  • The Chenchus speak the Chenchu language, which is of Dravidian origin.
  • They reside in the forest clad hills of Krishna River and forest of Nallamala (near Nagarjunsagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve)
  • They generally use axe and bows for their self defence.
  • Chenchus brew their own liquor called as ‘Thummachakka’ with acacia bark, mahua flower and jaggery, which they consume after a hunt.
Source: TH

Konyak Dance & Konyak Tribes


Why is it in News?

On 5th April, 2019, around 4,700 Konyak Naga women came together in an attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the ‘Largest Traditional Konyak Dance’ in the world.

About Konyak Tribes:

  • Out of the 16 tribes of Nagaland, Konyak tribe is the major tribes of Nagaland and they mainly reside in the Mon District of Nagaland.
  • The distinguishing features of these tribes includes tattoos all over their body (chest, calves, forehead etc.) and pierced ears.
  • It has to be kept in mind that they are not only present in the states of Nagaland, but are present in states of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam too.

Festivals of Konyak Tribes:

It has been observed that UPSC has been asking about the fairs and festivals of the tribes which are in news therefore this segment becomes relevant for the prelims.

Festivals of Konyak Tribes are:

1. Aoleng Manyu Festival- a festival celebrated in the first week of April to welcome the spring. It is the biggest festival of the Konyaks.

2. 'Lao Ong Mo' Festival: It is the traditional harvest festival celebrated in the months of August/ September.

Source: IE, TH

Apatani & Ziro Valley


Why is it in News?

From 20-30th March, Myoko Festival is celebrated annually in the Ziro Valley by the Apatani Tribe.

About Apatani Tribe:

  • The Apatani, or Tanw, are a tribal group of people living in the Ziro Valley in the Lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Apatanis have followed the tradition of facial modification/ tattooing by plugging their nose with wood (This plugging of nose is called ‘Yaping’). This was done purposely to make women look unattractive to males of other tribes.

Religious Practice:

They worship the forces of nature i.e. Sun and the Moon.

Occupation of Apatani People:

  • The Apatanis are primarily into farming. They are famous for the sustainable and efficient methods that they have been following to cultivate rice. The farm lands are built on flat lands and therefore, wet rice cultivation is followed along with pisciculture. They don’t use any machines or chemical fertilizers.
  • Seeing their sustainable method of coexistence Apatani cultural landscape has been put in tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sitein 2014 .

About Ziro Valley:

  • Ziro Valley lies tucked in the lower ranges of the Eastern Himalayas in the state of Arunachal Pradesh in north-east India.
  • It comprises of about 32 km2 of cultivable areas out of 1058 km2 of plateau, undulated by small hillocks.
  • Apatani tribes reside in this valley of Arunachal Pradesh.

Source: en.unesco.org, TH

Dongria Kondh


Why is it in News?

The Supreme Court has ordered the eviction of nearly 10 lakh forest dwellers whose claims has been rejected, but these tribal groups have decided to resist the order of SC.

About Dongria Kondh:

  • The Dongria Kondh people are members of the Kondhs, of the Munda ethnic group. They are primarily located in the Niyamgiri hills in the state of Odisha, but they are also found in the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
  • They sustain themselves from the resources of the Niyamgiri forests, practicing horticulture and shifting cultivation.
  • They consider themselves to be the royal descendants of Niyam Raja (Mountain God).
  • Niyam Raja Festival is celebrated with great pomp and show by these tribals.
  • The language spoken by these people is ‘Kui’. They are one among the 75 PVTG declared by government.

About the Niyamgiri Hills:

  • Niyamgiri hills are one of the most pristine forest of India which spreads over 250 sq.km. under the Rayagada and Kalahandi District in south-west Odisha. It is bound by the Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary on the north-west side and Kotgarh Wildlife Sanctuary on the north-east end.

Source: TH